By Ray Isle, Executive Wine Editor, Food & Wine
My secret theory about why chicken wings and football go so well together can be demonstrated by a very simple experiment. First, go to the store and buy a chicken. Next, remove its wings. Next, truss its little feet together. Now paint it brown. What does it look like? Exactly: a football. Chickens are footballs, except for the wings. And that's why when we watch football, we eat chicken wings.
Some people might question the logic of the above theory, but they, of course, have not been drinking enough beer. Because that is the other thing that goes perfectly with chicken wings: beer, and enough of it.
Of course, it's perfectly simple to order up a bunch of standard-issue buffalo wings, open a Bud and have a fine ol' time watching big people with a ball smash each other silly. But given that I work at a place where we seem to be testing a new wing recipe every single day--everything from classic buffalo wings to Vietnamese-fish-sauce-soaked wings (which, contrary to how they sound, taste great)--the one-note approach seems a little like a cop-out. Given the vast world of wings out there, here are a few more off-the-wall beer-pairing thoughts:
Classic Buffalo Wings
Classic lager beer: Brooklyn Lager
Really, Really Hot Wings
Crisp pilsner beer: Trumer Pils
Belgian tripel ale: Westmalle Tripel
Sweet, Sticky, BBQ-ish Wings
Lightly bitter English pale ale: Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale
Fruit-infused beer: Harpoon UFO Raspberry Hefeweizen